A Reflection of My Life after living in Uganda as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Playing Hooky

Annet, Grace and I played hooky today. I know I should not be promoting skipping out on work and school but I had a really fun time doing it today. Every year Uganda holds a trade fair where businesses from around the world come and sell their goods along with providing business seminars. It's like a really small state fair but it's a fair nonetheless. There were even camel rides, popcorn, flying swing rides and booths about most anything imaginable.

We wandered around looking at Tanzanian, Egyptian, United Arab Emerites, Chinese, South African and other countries crafts and goods. Grace made friends with numerous booth keepers and came away with sweeties (candy) and biscuits (cookies) continually. I got lots of free samples of nasty smelling perfume, hair food for black-people hair and pens. Annet told me she should go shopping with a white person and a small child more often. She's more likely to get free things. However, we were at a disadvantage at any of the Ugandan booths because they all believed I had a lot of money and was going to buy Grace and Annet anything they wanted. Ha!

One of the big appeals for most Americans (I believe this generalization is true) is the food the fair has to offer. I must admit I was a bit disappointed but not surprised that for lunch we ate matooke, sweet potatoes, g-nut sauce and peas. Standard Ugandan food.

As we were leaving the fair Grace had to go to the bathroom. She went into the building but quickly came out saying they refused her. Annet was laden with bags so I walked her in and proceeded to have a strong 2 minute conversation with the bathroom attendant vouching for Grace's hygiene and promising she wouldn't vandalize the toilets. Apparently, a woman had been in there previously and tried to flush her babies diaper down the toilet which resulted in a big poopy mess.

The lady let us through and I held the door closed while Grace went. When she finished, I glanced in and found she'd peed all over the floor of the stall, not in the seat-less toilet. I grabbed her hand and hurried her out as fast as I could. When we were a safe distance away, I asked why she didn't go in the toilet. She said she'd been confused and didn't know how to use the toilet but she was proud of herself because she'd put the toilet paper in the toilet. Annet and I shook our heads and headed home. I guess you can take the girl out of the village but you can't always take the village out of the girl.

It was a good day. We had fun ambling around together. Annet bought some things for her house and I saw lots of jewelery I wished I'd bought. Do any of us regret our playing hooky day? No way.

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